The 10 Best Duffel Bags to Buy in 2018

Don't like traditional suitcases? Check out these awesome duffel bags

JetPal Spacious Foldable Duffel
•••  eBay

Duffels are a popular choice among travelers because they are often lighter than standard luggage, but can hold a lot of gear. As luggage companies expand and improve on duffel bags, you’ll find some with rolling wheels, backpack straps, waterproof material and stylish designs. Whether in need of a carry-on sized bag or something a bit larger, check out our recommendations for the best duffels available today.

  • 01 of 10

    The Gonex 45-liter duffel ticks all the boxes: there are plenty of pockets, it’s durable, affordable, spacious and well-constructed, making it a solid choice overall. Available in six different color combinations such as dark green with tan trim or gray and maroon, there’s a favorite for everyone. Measuring 20 x 11 x 9.6 inches, the main compartment holds a couple days’ clothes, plus has a large lid pocket that’s perfect for tablets or magazines, in addition to a small organizational pouch. The zippered sides of the bag comfortably fit shoes – keeping them separate from your clothing, and there are four additional small pockets for quick-access items. The duffel includes a shoulder strap and carry handles and is water resistant.  

  • 02 of 10
    JetPal Spacious Foldable Duffel
    •••  eBay

    If you just need a basic duffel bag to get your gear from point A to point B, the JetPal Spacious Foldable Duffel is a great option at a budget-friendly price. Constructed from premium lightweight water-resistant fabric, the JetPal can quickly and easily fold up for easy transportation, allowing you to tuck it away when not in use. (The medium-sized bag is 10 x 13 x 23 inches and can fold down to just 10 x 11 inches.) The duffel features three large pockets for organization and has both carry handles and a detachable shoulder strap. Plus, it can be easily hand-washed. The whole thing weighs only one pound, so you aren't hauling anything heavier than you have to.

  • 03 of 10

    Worn as a duffel sling bag or a backpack, the multi-purpose “Bago Duffel Bag” is a well-constructed bag that works great as a carry-on. Measuring 13 x 23 x 11 inches and with 53 liters of main storage, the bag can hold up to a week’s worth of gear, but packing cubes are helpful to separate items. The bag folds up into the storage bag (which can also double as a handy toiletry bag), so it doesn’t take up extra room in your home or hotel room. It is made with sturdy zippers, durable material, breathable shoulder straps, adjustable compression straps to reduce the size and has several pockets for small items.

  • 04 of 10

    If you’re planning a long weekend getaway, the “Plambag Unisex Canvas Duffel” is a stylish-looking bag that is also functional and affordable. It's made of cotton canvas material that comes in grey, coffee, army green or dark grey, and it also features classic, attractive zipper pulls. Wear it on your shoulder or leave the strap and carry it like a tote. There are three layers of lining, rubber grips on the bottom (so if you set it on something wet it won’t seep through the fabric) and plenty of pockets. When fully expanded, it measures 24.4 x 9.8 x 11.8 inches otherwise it is 20.8 inches long – a great size for a short trip.

    Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best weekender bag article.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    While many companies advertise luggage as being “waterproof” they are often just water resistant – a major difference. For those traveling to rainy areas, the “Aqua Quest White Water Duffel” is fully waterproof (unless completely submerged underwater). The company is based out of the Pacific Northwest and knows the importance of keeping necessary items dry. The Aqua Quest weighs 1.6 pounds, measures 24 x 12 x 12 inches and can carry 50 liters of travel gear. Like other waterproof bags, it rolls to stay closed and is made of abrasion-resistant fabric. It can also be carried using handles or with a shoulder sling strap.

  • 06 of 10

    Made of splash-resistant nylon and polyester, the “Code Alpha” duffel can hold a lot of gear, yet is easy to carry around. For starters, the bag is massive: it measures 33 x 17 x 13 inches and comes with a detachable toiletry kit on the side. Three rugged wheels make it easy to pull using the straps, but be aware that the bag doesn’t have a telescoping handle. The sturdy framework is designed so that the duffel keeps its form – whether full or not – and has a main compartment and mesh interior compartment. One drawback is that the bag doesn’t have many extra pockets for gadgets, but is an ideal choice for a checked bag.

  • 07 of 10

    If you're looking for a quality-crafted duffel with style, the “KPL 21 Inch Vintage Leather Duffel” fits the bill. At 21 x 14 x 9 inches it is just the right size for a carry-on bag and looks sharp with fashionable brown leather and bronze buckles. The vintage-style bag is handmade from chemical and dye-free leather and weighs 4.4 pounds. It comes with leather carry handles and a detachable shoulder strap with two side exterior pockets and one front pocket. However, there are no interior pockets to separate items. The bag is well constructed, comes with a personal letter from the maker and is available at a reasonable price – making it a popular choice with Amazon buyers.

  • 08 of 10

    Great for a trip to the gym, this sturdy duffel from Elite Sports keeps all your gear in one place. The bag is composed of a heavy-duty material called Cordura, a high-grade ballistic 1200 denier that’s used in military gear, so it’s super durable and can handle being thrown in the trunk. The Warrior Series has plenty of storage, including a waterproof beverage pocket, a jacket strap, a secure internal pocket for valuables and an exterior pocket for shoes that keeps dirt off the rest of your gear. Plus, it has a ventilated mesh compartment for dirty gym clothes. But what really takes this bag to the next level is its convertibility — a pair of retractable shoulder straps transform the Warrior Series into a backpack in seconds. It is available in both medium (20 x 9 x 11 inches) and large (11 x 23 x 12 inches) sizes, and comes in six different colors, from neutral black and gray to bright pink and red.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    The Gregory Alpaca Duffel is premium-quality duffel that can withstand the elements and is well worth the higher price tag. With a 45-liter capacity, the weatherproof bag can take the wear and tear from the airport and is ideal for outdoor adventures. In addition to carry handles, the duffel features removable padded backpack straps for easy transportation – great for hiking. The water-resistant bag has reinforced threads for high performance and has a small exterior zippered pouch for quick access items, a “U-shaped” main compartment, as well as a large mesh interior pocket. There’s also a slot for IDs and plenty of exterior loops for attaching carabiners. It is available in bright blue or black. 

  • 10 of 10
    Dakine EQ Bag 31L
    ••• Courtesy of Zappos.com

    For a travel duffel bag that looks less like a gym bag and more like a fashionable carry-on, the Dakine EQ Bag is a popular option. With several print designs, including turquoise with hibiscus flowers and white and black Aztec prints, the duffel is the perfect travel accessory. Measuring 15.5 x 9 x 10 inches and with a volume of 31 liters, the Dakine bag makes a great carry on for weekend getaways. When not in use, the polyester fabric can be folded for easy storage. Some features buyers appreciate are the carry handles and shoulder strap, zippered side pocket for small items such as phones and wallets and “U-Shaped” interior storage area. 

At TripSavvy, our expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your trip. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.